POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (April 15, 2024) – Defending Trans Am by Pirelli series champion and 2023 race winner Chris Dyson took a hard-fought victory Saturday at NOLA Motorsports Park in suburban New Orleans, streaking under the checkered flag in his #16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang a scant 0.390 seconds ahead of the Mustang of Paul Menard.

“It was a great race with Paul,” Dyson after climbing from his car at the winner’s circle. “We were phenomenal on long runs.  We had worked hard all weekend to find a balance between one-lap pace and full race performance, and that’s never easy with these levels of horsepower and on such hot days.  My hat’s off to the crew for giving me this rocket ship today.”

Menard, winner of the season opener at Sebring after Dyson was taken out in a first-turn crash, acknowledged that fact following the race. “Chris was just too fast on old tires,” he said.

Dyson, starting second and running with a chassis setup that maximized the performance of his tires over the course of the entire race, shadowed pole-sitter Paul Menard for the first three-quarters of the 100-mile sprint before seizing the lead at the event’s three-quarter mark.

After pure bad racing fortune denied him a victory in the first two races of the season, it looked like Dyson had the third round of 2024 in hand after overtaking Menard and pulling a gap. A couple of laps later a red flag incident that left the field parked for a substantial period appeared to negate Dyson’s advantage and perhaps give one to Menard, whose car was very strong on cold tires on restarts.

But with four laps remaining in the race Dyson timed the rolling restart perfectly and established a slim but significant half-second lead over Menard. “I knew it was critical that I not let Paul get close enough to make a move, so I couldn’t afford even the slightest mistake.  I drove the sections where I was quicker like a madman just to build a margin.  But Paul was still hanging with me, so I had to be absolutely relentless and give it everything down the stretch.”

Dyson forecast that the remainder of the season would continue to feature this same kind of hard racing which defined this season so far and indeed the Trans Am Series in its more than half-century history. “Paul is really strong, Tomy (Drissi, a former series champion) is still getting up to full speed with his new team, and Adam (Andretti, winner at Road Atlanta) is going to be a threat all season. It’s going to be a fight every weekend.  I can’t wait for the next one.”

With his 24th Trans Am Series victory at NOLA Motorsports Park, Dyson moved into joint fourth on the all-time Trans Am winners list.

Matos Domination of NOLA TA2 Race Makes for a Weekend Sweep by CD Racing’s Branding Partners

Driving a Concord American Flagpole-branded Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang, Rafa Matos on Sunday scored his first CUBE 3 Architecture TA2-class win of 2024. The win by the two-time TA2 champion was eerily similar to Dyson’s win in the TA class the previous day. Matos won the pole position, and then shadowed the early race leader before taking the lead and holding to the finish.

“Thanks to Chris Dyson and Concord American Flagpole for supporting me this year,” Matos said after climbing for his car and before mounting the top step of the podium. Adding to his 2018 and 2021 series titles, the victory at NOLA, his 21st, makes Matos the winningest driver in TA2 history.

The Concord American Flagpole branding, which also features prominently in CD Racing’s open-wheel dirt-track racing program, made its first Trans Am appearance in 2022 when Matthew Brabham drove a CD Racing entry into Victory Lane at Virginia International Raceway. 

“I’m happy CD Racing was able to bring our USAC Silver Crown and sprint car partner to support Rafa with Nitro in his quest for a third championship,” Dyson said. “He’s doing a terrific job on track and showcasing the company.  It was amazing for us to each win races on the same weekend.  Here’s to continued success!”

Matos’ next race is May 11, when the TA2 class races at World-Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, IL.

Next Up: Lime Rock Park

With his win in New Orleans Dyson has closed the TA championship points gap to series leader Menard to just 8 points. The Trans Am Series’ next event is on Memorial Day at the Dyson team’s home track, Lime Rock Park in rural Northwest Connecticut. Dyson has won three of the four races run during the current Trans Am era at the short but very fast New England circuit. And last year at Lime Rock was where Dyson first took the championship point lead.

“Lime Rock is a great track for us,” Dyson said. “I’ve been racing there for 25 years and my family’s history at Lime Rock goes back 50 years. And beyond the history, the Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock is when all of our extended family and our many local friends have the chance to come and watch the team in person at a fan-friendly venue.  We’ll be pushing hard in the next few weeks to make sure we can have another strong race there.”

NOLA Rebroadcast Schedule

A 60-minute highlights show of the NOLA event will be broadcast this Thursday at 9:00 p.m. ET to MAVTV’s 22 million North American linear households and 175 million connected devices.




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